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Full text of "Handling grievances; an outline manual for union shop stewards and grievance committeemen"

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ILLINOIS, UNIVERSITY-- 
INSTITUTE OF LABOR 
INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS. 
HANDLING GRIE- 




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AN D L I NG 



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G R IE V A N C ES 






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an outline manual 

for union shop stewards 

and grievance committeemen 



Institute of Labor and 
Industrial Relations 

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS 



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ONTENTS 



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INTRODUCTION . iii 

THE UNION AND THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT . 1 

I* General purpose of a union* 

H. What the average union member 
expects from his union. 

III. What an effective union requires 
from its member s.- 

THE GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE IN THE AGREEMENT .... 3 

I* Various kinds of complaints 
of workers. 

II. What is a grievance? 

Ill* Purpose of a grievance procedure. 

IV. Agreement provisions for establish- 
ing a grievance procedure. 

V. Factors which help make for a good 
grievance procedure* 

THE JOB OF A STEWARD OR GRIEVANCE COMMITTEEMAN . . 12 

I. The steward 1 s strategic position 
in the union organization. 

II. Methods of selecting stewards. 

III. General duties and special skills 
of the steward* 

IV. What the steward needs to know. 






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HANDLING GRIEVANCES UNDER THE CONTRACT PROCEDURE . . 16 

I. Analysis of the steward's job in 
handling grievances. 

II* Classification of worker and union 
grievances* 

III* Writing grievances and keeping 
records* 

IV* A few general suggestions for 
handling grievances* 

V* Some pointers about dealing 
with people* 

VI* Examples of specific problems of 
stewards in dealing with people* 

VII* Parts of the agreement frequently 

involving a large number of grievances 
and requiring special analysis and 
attention* 



MAKING GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES WORK IN THE UNION 

SET-UP. ...... * - ♦ * 27 

I* Union constitutional provisions 

and practices* 

II* How a local union can help stewards 
do their jobs* 

III* Methods of informing membership on 
agreement provisions* 

IV* Possible functions of a union 
grievance committee* 



SELECTED READING REFERENCES. ........ 30 

CHARTS 



A. Types of Problems of Union Members and 

Common Methods for Handling Them h 

B* Howr a Grievance Procedure Affects Communi- 
cation Within a Plant 7 

C* Steps in a "typical" Grievance Procedure ... 9 

D* The Key Fosition of the Steward in Union- 
Management Relations 13 



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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
' ' in 2013 ' ' 



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http://archive.org/details/handlinggrievanOuniv 



iii 



NTRODUCTION 



This manual on handling grievances has been prepared 
by the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations of the 
University of Illinois as an aid to union representatives 
and instructors in labor education. It includes certain 
ideas and materials developed in steward training class 
outlines and manuals of unions, other universities and 
the government. Unfortunately it is impossible to give 
credit for specific items because most of the borrowed 
materials have been modified and adapted to the particular 
purposes and organization of this manual. 

Designed for use in connection with the training of 
union stewards, officers and other representatives in 
grievance problems, this manual is primarily in outline and 
topical form* Such a presentation may suggest topics and 
ideas for discussion, but can lay no claim to providing all 
the information required for complete handling of grievances. 

ThiB outline manual can best be used* therefore, with 
other materials such as case studies of actual grievances, 
analysis of contract clauses, summary of relevant state and 
federal laws, charts of specific grievance procedures, and 
the like* 



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iv 
In formal classes for stewards.* it is hoped that this 

manual can be used for those parts of the course devoted to 

general duties of stewards and problems of grievance handling. 

Copies might be handed out to all participants at the start 

of the class and used as a "text" or work book. The manual 

might also be used as a summary of some material covered in the 

class and> therefore, given the participants only at the end 

of the sessions* 

In addition, it is hoped that the manual may prove use- 
ful for unions carrying on informal discussions of problems 
and procedures in steward or grievance committee meetings* 

For the sake of simplicity the word "steward" (and oc- 
casionally "grievance committeeman") has been used throughout 
in referring to the official union representative who handles 
grievances of union members at the beginning stages of the 
procedure* Many unions, of course* give other titles to 
their representatives who have similar responsibilities* 

On the other hand, many aspects of this manual will 

not apply to all types of unions or grievance procedures* 

For certain industries or occupations the steward system is 

replaced by other methods of handling complaints and disputes 

arising on the job* In such cases many sections of the 

following will not be closely applicable and may require 

considerable modification to be appropriate* 

Phillips L# Garman, Coordinator of Extension 
Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations 



Many of the parts of this manual were developed for class use 
by John M* Brumm and Herman Erickson* Assistant Professors of 
Labor and Industrial Relations and Extension* The former did 
the work of compiling this material and organizing it for 
this manual* It was edited by Donald E* Hoyt, Institute 
Editor, and art work was done by Marguerite W* Keswick* also 
of the Institute staff* 



V. 

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HE 



NION AND THE 



LoLLECTIVE U 



ARGAINING 



A 



GREEMENT 



I. OSHEBAl PURPOSES OF A UNION * 

A* A union is an association of workers 
organized primarily for mutual aid and 
protection in establishing fair and 
equitable employee-employer relationships- 

B- A union gives the worker a democratic 
voice in determining wages* hours , and 
working conditions, and in settling 
labor-management disputes and grievances: 

1» through bargaining collectively 
with management over the terms 
of a written agreement; and 

2. through utilizing grievance and 
other procedures set up in the 
agreement- 







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Unions are also among the more significant 
organizations in both the local community and 
the nation* Through unions, workers can become 
represented in various civic activities and can 
pursue the social and economic objectives of 
concern to themselves and their families* 



II, 



WHAT THE AVERAGE UNION MEMBER EXPECTS FROM HIS UNION. 



A* Fair and effective representation to management 
of his interests as an employee* 

B* Protection against arbitrary abuse of authority* 

C. Voice, vote, and an opportunity for participa- 
tion in carrying on the union's activities. 

D* Honesty and efficiency on the part of union 
officers* 

E* Opportunity for association and good fellowship 
with others in the shop* plant or community. 

F* Protection and advancement of the interests of 
workers and their families in matters of 
public and governmental policy. 

G* Place of respect for himself and his union in 
the community and the nation. 









III. WHAT AN EFFECTIVE UNION REQUIRES FROM ITS MEMBERS , 

% .%'*■•' ..." 3"-' •;..;. A. Participation in union activities 

necessary to effectively carry out 
.' its purposes* 



Cooperation with union officers and 
representatives in carrying on the 
day-to-day functions of the union* . 

A clear understanding of the union- 
management agreement* 

An understanding of the employer *s 
purposes and his interests in the 
agreement* 

An active interest in having the 
agreement enforced fairly for all. , 



An interest in the general welfare of all 
members of the union* 







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I HE URIEVANCe U< 



rievance uocedure in the 
Agreement 



VARIOUS KINDS OF COMPLAINTS OF WORKERS * 

A* Workers may bring several different kinds of 
problems, complaints and dissatisfactions to 
the attention of union officers and represen- 
tatives for advice and action* They are pro- 
blems which arise either within the plant or 
outside the plant. They may be broken down 
jSirther, however* into the following groups i 

1* Problems arising under the contract 

2. Other plant problems 

3* Union problems 

lit Community problems 

*>• Personal and family problems 
(See Chart A, next page*) 

£• Normally only the in-plant problems related 
to the conditions ot employment litems 1 and 
2 above) are "grievances," capable of being 
handled under the grievance and other procedure 
set up by the collective bargaining agreement. 

C» Union problems of workers (item 3) may arise 
either inside or outside the plant, but are 
properly handled by union officers and 
representatives through informal contacts, 
at meetings, or through formal procedures 
established in the union constitution, by- 
laws and rules* 












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Types of Problems of Union Members 
and Common Methods for Handling Than 



out-plant problems 



usually handled first 
by union committees or 
representatives; may be 
referred later to community 
organization or agency for 
help or advice 



In-plant problems 




handled through 
formal contract 



handled through union 

procedures, in personal 
contact, at meetings, in 
union office, under appeal 
machinery, etc* 









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D. Other kinds of problems (items k and $ above) 
which arise largely outside the plant are 
handled to varying degrees by unions depending 
upon their organizational set-up, their financial 
and other resources j and the desires of the 
membership. Helping members in such community 
and personal problems may be the responsibility 
of a union committee, of union officers, 
stewards or grievance men, or of specially 
trained union representatives such as community 
service counselors, safety committeemen, welfare 
committeemen, and similarly designated persons. 

E. There are at least four important reasons why 
successful handling of in-plant grievances 
also requires that some consideration be given 
to out-plant problems as well* 

1» By providing some aid or guidance to 

members bringing their out-plant problems 
to union representatives, the union can 
gain their loyalty as well as their 
confidence in the union as a reliable 
representative on grievances. 

2. Many out-plant problems of a worker may 
affect his work and work relations in 
the plant and therefore may be closely 
involved in present or future grievances. 

3. AH complaints, whether based on in-plant 
or out-plant problems, require a certain 
minimum amount of attention on the part of 
the steward so that he can be sure whether 
there is an actual grievance* 

ii. A fair and just handling of a bona-fide 
grievance may often require some under- 
standing of the aggrieved worker ! s 
personal and other problems, outside 
employment. 



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II. WHAT IS A GRIEVANCE? 

A* Some common definitions of a grievance as 
used in agreements: 

1% W A problem which properly can be handled 
under the grievance procedure •" 

2. n A complaint or dissatisfaction arising 
from the interpretation or application 
of the contract. " 

3. "Any dispute, disagreement or difference 
arising between any employer or the union 
and management •" 

h» "Any controversy, dispute or difference 
between the management and the union, in- 
volving hours of labor, wages and working 
conditions*" 

B. Questions which can be asked to help decide 
whether or not there is a grievance: 

1. Has there been a violation of the 
agreement? 

2. Has there been a violation of state 
or federal laws, or health and safety 
regulations? 

3* Has there been an unjust act, or a 
mental or physical hardship, imposed 
upon an employee? 

h» Is the act or hardship unfair or 
unnecessary? 

5* Is management responsible for this 
condition? 

6. Is there a "human relations" problem 
which management could do something 
about? 















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III. 



PURPOSES OF A GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE. 



A. To protect workers' democratic rights on the job. 

B. To establish a mechanism for enforcing the 
agreement* 

C* To provide a recognized channel for dealing with 
complaints and problems of individuals or groups 
of workers on the job. 

D* To provide for orderly and fair settlement of 
disputes* 

E. To maintain healthful, safe, and agreeable 
working conditions* 

F* To give the worker the support of the whole union 
when he has a proper grievance* 

G. Frequently to provide a means of administering 
and interpreting some parts of the contract* 

H* In the long run and after the establishment of 
mutually satisfactory relations between the union 
and management, to provide a set of interpretations, 
rules, and practices which are recognized and 
accepted by both parties and come to constitute a 
sort of plant or industry custom or M law*" 



Lhart D 



How a Grievance Procedure Affects 
Communications within a Plant 



4* ( top management 



A | plant supt* 

4^ | dept* supt* 

4/ 1 foreman 

4, | worker 



Generally communication in industry 
is from the top down* Orders are 
passed down from one responsible 
person to the others below him* 
Normally a worker can have direct 
contact only with his immediate 
foreman* 



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grievance procedure 



A grievance procedure provides 
a simple mechanism whereby the 
workers can carry a complaint 
or problem successively to each 
level of management for 
consideration and action* 






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IV. AGREEMENT PROVISIONS FOR ESTABLISHING A GRIEVANCE 
PROCEDURE. 



The section in the collective bargaining agree- 
ment -which sets up a grievance machinery 
usually consists of several clauses covering 
certain matters which experience has shown to 
be important* The items which are most commonly 
covered in agreements are listed below* Anyone 
interested in examining samples of actual 
clauses which have been written by unions and 
managements on these particular matters may 
read a bulletin published by the Bureau of Labor 
Statistics of the U. S. Department of Labor: 
Collective Bargaining Provisions* Grievance and 

Arbitration Provisions , Bulletin 908-16 • 

«———■»——■———■———»■»— ii 

A* Definition of a grievance* 

B* Methods of presenting grievances* 

C. The formal steps in the procedure* 
(See Chart C* next page.) 

D. Provision for mediation and arbitration. 
E* Maintenance of written records. 

F. Time limits. 

G. Selection* rights and duties of stewards 
or grievance representatives* 

H. Special protection and privileges of 
stewards or grievance representatives. 






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Steps in a "Typical" Grievance Procedure 



The following illustration of the formal steps of a grievance 
procedure may be considered as typical for many medium-sized 
plants. Probably no two grievance procedures are exactly alike* 
The number of steps will vary with the size of the company/ and 
the titles of the representatives will differ from situation to 
situation*- In some cases there may be no formal provision in the 
agreement for mediation, conciliation or arbitration. 



Step $ 
Step k 
Step 3 

Step 2 



Step 1 



^ 



Mediation, Conciliation 
or Arbitration 



International repre- 
sentative of union 



Grievance Committee 

or Top 
Local Union Officers 



Chief Steward or 
Grievance Committee 
Chairman or Union 
Business 
Representative 



Steward or 
Grievance man 

Worker 



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| Top management 



Labor Relations 
Officer or 
General Plant 
Manager 



Department or 
Plant 
Superintendent 



Foreman 



UNION 



EMPLOYER 



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V. FACTORS WHICH HELP MAKE FOR A GOOD GRIEVANCE 
PROCEDURE, 




A* Settlement of grievances on the basis of merit 
Generally speaking, only bona-fide grievances 
or issues on which the agreement is not clear 
or which require interpretation should be 
carried through the grievance procedure* If 
the parties desire to create respect for and 
confidence in the procedure* they need to be 
more concerned with obtaining a fair and 
just settlement than with "winning the 
grievance merely for the sake of winning*" 
If only bona-fide grievances are appealed* 
the worker has a guarantee of a fair hear- 
ing and an equitable settlement consistent 
with the contract and past practices* 

B* Settlement at the point of origin 

It is best to settle the grievance at the 
first step* whenever possible* because it 
is nearer the persons (aggrieved worker* 
steward* and foreman) who have had oppor- 
tunity to have first hand knowledge of the 
matter in dispute* This helps to reduce un- 
necessary friction and keeps simple problems 
from assuming exaggerated importance. 



C. 



Promptness of action at each step 
Delay in settling a grievance may irritate 
the worker and can result in general dis- 
content in the department* Promptness can 
increase the worker* s confidence in the 
procedure* 

Clear definition of authority and responsibility 
Both union and management avoid confusion and 
misunderstandings when areas of authority and 
responsibility of their respective representa- 
tives are clearly defined* 









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E. Training in grievance handling 
The grievance 
machinery usually 
works better when 
the stewards and 
foremen have had 
some training in 
handling grievances. 
Training can help 
in the development 
of attitudes of 
mutual respect 
and confidence* 

F*. Making full use of the procedure 

It is usually advisable not to by-pass 
any steps of the grievance procedure 
outlined in the contract • If the 
procedure is cumbersome or inadequate, 
it should be changed* 

G. Making information readily available 

The worker, steward and foreman originally 
involved in a grievance should be kept 
closely informed on the progress of the 
grievance as it goes through higher steps 
as well as on the exact terras of the 
settlement when reached* 



H* An attitude of mutual respect and 
confidence 

Successful operation of a grievance pro- 
cedure depends largely on the development 
of union-management relations to the 
stage where there is mutual respect and 
a cooperative attitude toward resolving 
plant problems* It is based on the belief 
by each party that plant problems are of 
mutual concern and that the other party 
desires both to reach mutually satisfacto- 
ry solutions and to assume the responsi- 
bility for carrying out its side of any 
agreement reached* 









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I he Job of the uteward or U 



MEVANCE 



c 



OMMITTEEMAN 



I- THE STEWARDS STRATEGIC POSITION IN THE UNION 
ORGANIZATION. 



A. The "vital link" between the members and 
the officers* 

B* Mates possible a continuous "on-the-spot" 
administration of the agreement. 

C* A central position in the relationship 
between union* workers and management* 
(See Chart D* next page*) 

1* The steward represents workers to 
management (handling grievances) • 

2* He represents workers to union 
organization* 

3* He represents union to management. 

k* He represents union to workers* 

5* He interprets management to workers* 

6* He interprets management to union. 






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Lhart U 



The Key Position of the Steward 
in Union-Management Relations 



33 



Union 
Members 



Union 
Organization 



Management 
Repre sentati ve s 







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2k 



II. METHODS OF SELECTING STEWARDS . 

A* Election by membership of local union. 
B* Election by members in shop or department* 

C. Appointment by grievance committee* 

D. Appointment by union officers* 

E* By any of above methods following 
attendance at union training class* 

III. GENERAL DUTIES AND SPECIAL SKILLS OF THE, STEWARD. 



A* Or ganizer 

This function includes organizing the 
unorganized in his plant, combating anti- 
union activities $ and developing membership 
interest and participation in union affairs* 

B* Educator 

In this capacity the steward gives informa- 
tion about the history and achievements of 
the union movement* and current union 
activities and policies* He helps explain 
and interpret the contract* 

C* Interviewer 

The steward listens to 
complaints and answers 
questions from fellow 
workers. He seeks to 
get the full* true facts 
about all grievances and 
other complaints by talk- 
ing with aggrieved worker 
and other persons who may 
be involved or have 
pertinent information* 

D.- Negotiator 

The steward's main job is to present 
grievances of workers to the proper 
management representative (foreman* 
department head* or others* depending 
on the contract provision) in order 
to obtain fair and satisfactory 
adjustment* 







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E* Leader 

He enlists the cooperation of his fellow 
workers and initiates action in their 
interests. He seeks to prevent grievances 
by his effort to remove the causes of 
grievances and by consistently looking 
out for contract violations . 

F* Counselor 

The steward advises and assists the union 
member on many matters which are outside 
the scope of normal collective bargaining. 



IV.- WHAT THE STEWARD NEEDS TO KNOW, 



The contract — clauses, procedures, past 
interpretations* 

The plant or department — rules, condi- 
tions, processes, operations* 

Job duties and rates* 

Methods of wage payment* 

Union structure, policies, rules, programs. 

Seniority standing of members* 

State and federal laws, regulations* 

Union members in department* 

Management representatives with whom 
he must deal* 

Effective ways of dealing with people* 





















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16 



HANDLING U&IEVANCES U 

UOCEDUfcE 



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NDER THE 



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ONTRACT 



ANALYSIS OF THE STEWARD'S JOB IN HANDLING 




Prevention of grievances. 

Interviewing the worker. 

Getting all the facts — making 
a full investigation. 

Cheeking the contract, previous 
cases, union policy* 

Putting the facts together* 



Determining if there is a grievance and the 
kind of grievance* If there is no grievance, 
explaining reason to worker and giving any- 
pertinent helpful suggestions* 

Taking the grievance up with the foreman* 

Writing the grievance and keeping records* 

Discussing important issues with the grievance 
committee or union officers* 

Preparing the unsettled grievance for the next 
steps* 

Helping prepare the unsettled grievance for 
arbitration* 

Keeping the aggrieved worker informed on 
progress of the grievance* 



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II. 



CLASSIFICATION OF WORKER OR UNION GRIEVANCES. 



The following outline of typical grievances with 
some common examples of each suggests one way in 
which grievances may be usefully classified* Such 
a classification may be helpful to the steward or 
other union officials in giving a precise heading or 
name to a grievance, in explaining it to others, and 
in classifying it in union files for purposes of 
future reference. 



Type of Grievance 



Example 



WAGES* 



THE WORKER PEELS THAT — 



demand for individual wage adjustment* 



•He is not getting what he is 
worth • He gets less than 
other people doing work 
requiring the same degree 
of skill. 



complaints about job classification- 



•HLs job is worth more than it 
pays and should be re- 
classified. 

•He deserves to be upgraded. 



complaints about incentive systems* 



-The method of figuring his 
pay is so complicated 
that he doesn't know 
what his rate really is. 

-His piece rates are cut when 
his production increases. 

•His piece rates are too low. 



miscellaneous- 



•Mistakes are made in calcu- 
lating his pay. 

-Methods of paying off are 
inconsiderate. 



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SUPERVISIONS 



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complaints against discipline - 



—Foreman doesn't like him and 
picks on him. 

-Company has it in for him be- 
cause he's active in union. 

-His mistakes were due to 
inadequate instruction. 



objections to a particular foreman- 



-Foreman is playing favorites. 
-Foreman tries to undermine 

union* 
-Foreman ignores complaints. 



objections to method of supervision- 



SENIORITY, DISCHARGE, ETC. s 



-There are too many rules / 

and regulations. 
•Regulations aren't clearly 

posted. 
•Supervisors or time-study 

men do too much snooping. 



loss of seniority———- — — — - — -He has been unfairly de- 
prived of seniority. 

calculation of seniority-— ———He hasn't received all the 

seniority due him. 

interpretation of seniority— —Company unfairly interpreted 

contract clause (clauses 
often vague). 

disciplinary discharge or lay-off— —He has been penalized un- 
fairly or too severely. 
-Company wanted to get rid 
of him anyway for union 
activity or other reasons. 



promotion* 



—Seniority clause has been 

violated* 
-Company wouldn't promote him 

because of union activity. 
-He doesn't have chance to 

advance himself* 



transfer to other division or shift— -——He has had more than his 

share of dirty work on 
graveyard shifts* 















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GENERAL WORKING CONDITIONS: 



safety and health Toilet facilities are in- 
adequate. 

-Dampness, noise, fumes, and 
other unpleasant or un- 
safe conditions could 
be corrected. 

-He doesn't have enough time 
for personal needs. 



miscellaneous — ————.— — — — — M — — — jj e h as to lose too much ' 

time waiting for 
materials* 

-Overtime is unnecessary. 

-He is being unfairly denied 
an employment release 
(certificate of availa- 
bility) . 

-Lunchroom facilities are 
inadequate • 

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING* 



violations of contract——— — — — — ——Company is stalling or 

putting obstacles in 
the way of grievance 
settlements. 



^ompany will not give 

supervisors authority 
to grant any con- 
-."' cessions, 

interpretation of contract— ■*•»** 



/' 



••Company has disregarded 
precedents and 
agreed-upon interpre- 
tations. 



settlement of grievances ——Company fails to discipline 

supervisors where 
disciplinary action 
is necessary and 
has been promised* 






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III* WRITING ORIEVANCES AND KEEPING RECORDS * 

A* Advantages in writing up grievances as soon in 
procedure as possible. 

1* Reduces disagreements over 
facts. Details which 
might be forgotten later 
can be put down while 
still fresh in worker's 
or steward's mind. 

2. Makes it easier for the 
union representative to 
be certain that grievance is a real 
and legitimate one* 

3* Provides a written record which can be used 
as a guide or precedent in getting settle- 
ments on similar grievances at a later date. 

k» Suggests to the negotiating committee 
aspects of the agreement which might be 
improved. 



B. Suggestions in writing grievances. 

1« Every written grievance should contain the 
"five W's" — What> Who, When, Where, and 
Why. 

a. What : Health hazard, pay shortage, etc. 

(use classification system). 

b. Who : Name, badge number, department, 

job and seniority. 

c. When : All dates and time by the clock. 

d. Where : Plant, department, section. 

e. Whv^ Floor slippery, overtime not paid 

for, etc* 

2m Grievance also should state exactly what 
adjustment is desired . 















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3. State the facts and what you want. Do 
not argue the case in writing. Be brief 
and to the point. 

k* It is often desirable to adopt a system 
of numbering grievances for sake of 
identification. Make it easy for 
yourself to look up past grievances. 

C. Keeping records. 

Whether or not the grievance is written before 
it is taken to the foreman in the first step 
of the procedure will depend on the contract 
provisions relating to grievance settlement* 
and on other circumstances in the plant. But 
even where the grievance is not written as a 
part of the formal procedure, it is nevertheless 
desirable for the steward to keep a written 
record of all the complaints he receives and 
the grievances he handles . A record of the 
facts and the settlement of each grievance 
becomes a handy reference. The following 
kinds of records may prove useful: 

1« Complaint register — • A sheet of paper on 
which the union representative keeps a 
very brief notation of all complaints 
received from workers and what he did 
about them. Notation should include name, 
date, nature of complaint, action taken, 
etc. Action taken to enforce agreement 
and prevent grievances may also be listed 
on such a register. 

2. Grievance file — A file in union office 
52 all grievances which have been written 
on official grievance forms, classified 
by type of grievance, date* etc. 

3* Case file — A file of folders containing 
all supplementary materials pertaining to 
any grievance. These folders would hold 
such materials as correspondence, 
affidavits, minutes of meetings with 
management, memoranda, briefs prepared 
for arbitration, transcripts of hearings, 
etc. 












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IV. A FEW GENERAL SUGGESTIONS FOR HANDLING GRIEVANCES 
OFTEN GIVEN TO STEWARDS AND GRIEVANCE COMMITTEEMEN. 



1. 



2. 



k. 



Prevent grievances by meeting problems in 
your department before they cause grievances. 

Be a good listener . Listen with patient 
interest even when you think the aggrieved 
worker is wrong* Encourage him to talk so 
that you can find out what is really bother- 
ing him. Some of the force and power behind 
his feelings will disappear in the process 
of expressing them. 



Don't directly oppose what a person says . 
Try to show that you want to understand hi 
point of view and his problems. 



s 



Know your facts * Check your contract. Know 
how previous grievances of the same kind 
were settled. 




$• Use a positive, friendly 
approach . A timid or 
defensive attitude is 
a confession of weak- 
ness. 

^* Be calm . Shouting and 
pounding the desk 
rarely settles anything. 

7. Don't be afraid of 
pauses in your talk 
or conversation. Give 
both an individual or 

a group, as well as yourself, time to think 
over some of the arguments and suggestions 
that have been made. 

8. Avoid personalities . It is not who is right, 
it is what is right that counts. 

9. When you must disagree with what the foreman 
says, do so with dignity. Remember that you 
and the foreman are going to have to work 
together and settle other issues in the 
future • Remember, you are seeking agreement • 
not conquest. 



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lac 
all the answers* 



p an open mind . You may not know all the 
tsl Be willing to admit you don't know 



Don't get upset or make empty threats that 
both you and the foreman know you can't carry 
out. If you and the foreman can't come to an 
agreement there are further steps to be 
followed* 



You are 




Appeal to management's self-interest , 
asking for Justice — not favors; 
and you are expected to be fair* 
as you expect management 
to be* 



13. Don't horse-trade on 
grievances. That is, 
don't give up one 
grievance case in 
order to get a 
favorable decision 
on another* 



li** Stick to the point 
in your discussion 
with the foreman and 
don't get sidetracked. 

1$. Remember that management has rights too , 
and that both the workers and management 
must live up to the terms of the agree- 
ment* 

16* Don't take up complaints that are not real 
grievances . Take care of them outside the 
grievance procedure. 

i7« Keep the aggrieved worker constantly 
informed as to what is being done about 
his grievance. 

18. After a decision has been reached on a grievance 
by management and the union, check up to see 
that the decision has been carried out* 



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V. SOME POINTERS ABOUT DEALING WITH PEOPLE . 

The following generalizations about the way people 
behave may help stewards understand the reasons 
for seme of the suggestions made in the previous 
section (IV above). 

A. People differ greatly * Differences in physical 
appearance are easy to see. Differences in 
psychological make-up , however, are not as easy 
to observe or understand. Therefore , we often 
tend to forget or ignore them, particularly 
when we are dealing with people in groups. 

B. Behavior is not just "rational," it is also 
"emotional." There are both intellectual and 
emotional reasons for beliefs and actions. 
Therefore, we do many things not just because 
they are sensible things to do but also be- 
cause of the way we feel. Often, the way we 
feel does not show on the surface. 

C. Before you can influence anybody to change his 
mind about anything, you have to know what his 
needs and beliefs are . 

D. If you went to change a person ! s attitudes 
(even after you know what kind of a person he 
is — what his likes, dislikes, and problems 
are) you cannot do it by suggesting anything 
to him that is in too great conflict with his 
already established point of view . Even if the 
person does seem to accept new ideas which are 
in strong conflict with his established ideas, 
he probably accepts them only superficially and 
he may not stay convinced. You need to show 
him how such a change will do him some good 
personally. You will not be effective if you 
merely appeal to his feelings for such ideas 

as "the good of the union" or "the good of the 
industry," unless these are already things he 
basically believes in and is emotionally 
concerned with. 

E. In trying to change a person's attitude you 
must try to arrange it so that he can accept 
the change gradually , without loss of "face," 
or without emotional "upset." 

F. A person will resist any attempt to change his 
ideas if he feels that he is being "pushed "" 
around " or that his "democratic rights" are 
being attacked. 






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VI. EXAMPLES OF SPECIFIC PROBLEMS OF STEWARDS IN 
DEALING WITH PEOPLE. 




A. Sane common problems stewards have with members. 

1* Separating personal problems from real 
grievances and giving satisfaction to 
the worker. 



2. Helping the worker understand some specific 
clause effecting him (for example, seniority) 

3. Getting the real facts behing a grievance. 

h» Settling disagreements or conflicts among 
members* 

£• Getting members to be active and interested 
in the union. 

6. Helping members to understand the contract* 
and facts and events important to them 
and the union. 



6* Some common problems stewards have with foremen. 

1. Obtaining necessary facts from the foreman. 

2. Persuading the foreman to treat his workers 
better. 

3. Persuading the foreman to make some 
desirable adjustment. 

U* Getting the foreman to make decisions 
on grievances. 

5* Getting the foreman to settle grievances 
cooperatively. 

6. Encouraging the foreman to accept the 
steward* the contract, and the union. 

7». Persuading the foreman to stop making 
rash promises or threats. 












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VII. PARTS OF THE AGREEMENT FREQUENTLY INVOLVING A LARGE 
W®m OF GRIEVANCES AND REQUIRING SPECIAL ANALYSIS 
AND ATTENTION. 



A* Seniority provisions. 



B. Work load or job standard provisions. 



C. General wage clauses. 



D. Incentive wage provisions. 



E. Safety rules and regulations • 



F. Disciplinary problems. 




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AKING 



G 



R 



RIEVANCE I ROCEDURES 



II s - 

Union Jet 



'ORK IN THE 



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UNION CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS AND PRACTICES . 

ii ' ■ i i ■ i 

A. Provisions for determining policy and 
obtaining assistance in handling 
grievances. 

1. The grievance committee. 

2. The role of the union meeting. 

3. The role of local union officers and 
executive committee. 

k+ The role of the international union 
office and its representatives. 

B. Provision for appealing decisions of union 
representatives on grievances. 



1. Formal appeal procedure within union 
structure. 

2. Informal procedure for giving satis- 
faction to members with complaints 
which cannot be carried through the 
grievance procedure. 









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H. HOW A LOCAL UNION CAN HELP STEWARDS DO THEIR JOBS . 

A* Providing copies of agreement, pamphlets, 
summaries of laws, and other aids* 

B. Negotiating necessary changes in management 
policy to facilitate functioning of grievance 
procedure. 

C. Providing stewards with all needed information. 

D. Holding periodic steward meetings, for discussion 
and informal education* 

E. Providing formal training and education for 
stewards. 

F. Providing advice and aid in handling grievances 
when necessary. 

0. Providing adequate forms, notebooks and files. 

H. Giving recognition to stewards for job done 
in both preventing and handling grievances. 

1. Making union grievance records readily 
available for consultation. 



III. METHODS OF INFORMING MEMBERSHIP ON AGREEMENT 
PROVISIONS. ' 



A. Printing sufficient number of copies of 
agreement for distribution 
to all members. 

B. Informational meeting for 
all members after signing 
of contract. 

1. Union alone. 

2. Joint union- 

. management. 

C. Occasional general membership meeting during 
contract year on special problems of 
interpretation. 







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D* Shop or departmental meetings. 

E* Supplemental booklet, interpreting contract 
in popular language for membership with 
examples* 

F* Use of shop or local union paper for explain- 
ing special items* 



IV, POSSIBLE FUNCTIONS OF A UNION GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE. 



A* Supervising stewards in handling grievances. 

B* ProvidLng stewards with advice * assistance and 
training* 

C* Handling grievance negotiations at appropriate 
step in procedure* 

D* Establishing practices designed to make total 
grievance procedure run smoothly. 

E* Reporting to union on grievance settlement* 

F* Advising union on grievance problems requiring 
negotiation with management* 

G* Maintaining adequate grievance record system* 













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SELECTED KeAOING K 



EFERENCES 



Kaplan* Abbott • Making Grievance Procedures Work * 
Los Angeles, University of California, Institute of 
Industrial Relations, 1950 • 56pp. 2$t 

Lapp, John M. How to Handle Labor Grievances. New London, 
Conn., National Foremen's Institute, 19ii5» 590pp. $U*00. 

Gardiner, Glenn* When Foreman and Steward Bargain * New York, 
McGraw-Hill, 19U5."~I?l*pp. #3.307 — 

Selekraan, Ben M» "Handling Top Grievances." Labor Relations 
and Human Rela tions * New York, McGraw-Hill, 19U7» Chap* V* 

W.2T. 

U. S* Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards. 
Arbitration of Grieva nces * Washington, 19U6* (Bulletin 

No. m 39pp7 T5? * 

„_„ # Settling Plant Grievances * Washington, 

191+3* (Bulletin No. 66) kcppTHto? 



IUR-31 (51-52) 
10/8/51 DH/mwk 



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